Guilt: Is it Getting in the Way of Your Self-Care?

When Do We Usually Feel Guilty? When:

We're not feeling ok about who we are.

We're not feeling ok about the choices we're making.

We haven't met our own expectations.

We haven't met the expectations (real or imagined) of someone else or society at large.

How Does Guilt Affect Your Self-Care?

Guilt can come out in a number of ways, hurting yourself or others around you. Guilt can lead to low self-esteem or self-hatred, which can then lead to self-sabotage or even self-abuse. Guilt can also lead to lashing out at others and constantly finding fault with them.

Imagine you're all set to leave the house for your personal training appointment at the gym. A simple "look" from one of your children could impart enough guilt to lead you to the phone, instead, to cancel your appointment for self-care.

Upset with yourself for missing the appointment, you berate yourself all day about your lack of commitment and torment yourself with negative thinking.

Later that afternoon, the same child accidentally spills a glass of milk. How loving and forgiving might you be, based on the circumstances of the day?

Taking It To Your Self-Care Plan

There are going to be times when you'll want to pay attention to your guilty feelings, and there will be times when you want to let them go. Here's a guide for telling which is which, and some tips on how to do it.

Pay Attention, When:

1. You're feeling guilty about not completing something you decided to do.

For example, you set out to follow a stringent eating plan from a book and then neglected to follow all of the directions.

It's possible you haven't fully "bought in" to the idea that this is the best eating plan for you. Someone else you know tried it, and the author certainly seems convincing. But deep down you're not sure this is the plan for you.

If you're trying to do something ONLY to meet external expectations, your guilt may be telling you to find something that you wholeheartedly believe in.

Take a good look at what you're feeling guilty about not doing, and re-evaluate whether it's truly what you want to choose.

2. You're feeling guilty about something you did

For instance, you spoke unkindly to someone at work. Maybe that goes against the values that were instilled in you as you were growing up (the "golden rule"), or maybe it's a code of behaviour you've personally adopted. In either case, you haven't met your or society's expectations of how to behave.

You can begin to alleviate your feelings of guilt by correcting things with this person the very next time you see them. An apology would be great. Acting kindly every time you deal with them in the future is even better.

Apologizing and admitting you were wrong can be a difficult thing. And it's worth it.

Let It Go, When:

1. You're feeling guilty about choosing to do something for your own self-care.

I used the example earlier in the article, of feeling guilty about leaving your child to go to an exercise appointment.

Getting "selfish" is the best way to care for the others in your life. When you're feeling strong, confident, healthy, resilient and relaxed, you're more efficient, productive, creative and fun!

When this type of guilt gets in your way, tell yourself something encouraging about how this self-care is going to positively impact your whole family and everyone else you're in contact with.

2. You're feeling guilty about not meeting your own expectations

For example, it's March and you wonder what's become of your New Year's Resolutions.

Guilt is not a good motivator for change. Accepting ourselves for who we are and changing from there is the healthiest and most effective starting point for self-improvement. When you can believe you're GOOD ENOUGH as you are, you can truly begin to grow and change.

Having expectations that are too high or otherwise unrealistic will generally lead to disappointment. This is revealed in two ways - as guilt when we don't meet our expectations, or as judgment when other people don't meet our expectations.

3. You're feeling guilty because you haven't met the expectations you think other people have of you.

You have a work assignment to finish two reports before the weekend. You work diligently and finish them right before 5:00, meaning that your boss needs to stay late in order to check them over.

You're racked with guilt thinking about the extra work you've caused and what your boss must be thinking of you.

Take a breath. First of all, you have absolutely no control over what someone thinks of you. You did your best and fulfilled your assignment, so you have nothing to feel guilty about. Second, you're probably wrong in what you're imagining. Maybe your boss came in late and was planning to leave late as well. Maybe your boss is so pleased that the reports are done that you'll be receiving a bonus Monday morning.

So back up and try not to let your mind-reading lead to guilty feelings. In fact, since most of us are probably not doing such a great job of it, we might as well give up on the mind-reading altogether.

Saying yes to ourselves and our self-care often means saying no to people, events and situations in our life and that can bring guilt.

The more time we spend feeling guilty, the less self-care we're giving to ourselves. If we're letting someone else's words, actions or non-verbal messages make us feel guilty, we're letting THEM take away our self-care.

You can choose what to do when guilt comes up. Unfortunately, many of us choose to do nothing, "wallowing" in the guilt and letting it torment us; we second-guess our choices.

What I hope I've shown you in this article are the choices you CAN make: to re-evaluate what you're doing, make amends if you truly believe you were wrong, affirm to yourself that your self-care is more important than the guilt, or let the guilt go. Which will you choose?

(c) Copyright Linda Dessau, 2005.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, is the author of "The Everyday Self-Care Workbook". To find out more about the book, or to receive her free monthly newsletter, "Genuine Self-Care", visit http://www.genuinecoaching.com/resources.html

More Resources

Self Improvement:Coaching Articles from EzineArticles.com
07/10/2020 04:49 PM
Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
Celebrating is good for the old mindset. This article offers from fun ways to do just that, celebrate!
07/02/2020 11:40 AM
To Be an Outstanding Communicator Your Voice Really Matters
"We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us." -Friedrich Nietzsche This is one of the quotes I have on my office "inspiration board," which reminds me every morning to sound my best on teleconferencing calls. We all wish to be "outstanding communicators" who can persuade people of our ideas and our visions of a new strategy.
06/15/2020 02:45 PM
The Differences We Pay Attention To
We have been on a long road as a human race. We should be able to come together by now. This is not the case. What is the difference that you are paying attention to? Is it possible for us to get past what has become an increasing trend in our recent history? It seems as if it can only go one of two ways. We come together and move forward as one humankind... or, we do not.
05/27/2020 09:02 AM
An Everlasting Debate - Which Is Better? Forgiveness or Retribution
This article discusses the topic of an everlasting debate, regarding the importance of forgiveness vs. retribution in man's life. Some people, including religious preachers, prefer forgiveness over the tendency of taking revenge. However, some people feel that retribution to some extent is needed for correcting the mindset of miscreants.
03/28/2020 07:45 PM
What Is Soul Coaching for Purpose?
How can a Soul Coach help me? Why working with a Soul Coach for Purpose - where does this bring me.
03/10/2020 02:46 PM
Coaching Employees in the Workplace for Improved Performance
In today's highly competitive business world, the most important asset of any company is human capital Tens, hundreds or thousands of employees that make up the workforce of a company are the most essential contributors towards profits, growth and success. Improving employee efficiency and performance are therefore major priorities for any company. With this growing need to continually boost employees' productivity, workplace coaching has become very popular among companies. This type of coaching is the best method to empower employees and thus contributing to organizational effectiveness.
02/12/2020 03:32 PM
Why You Should Hire Top Dollar Coaches Online
If you're broken, you should hire a coach. Some people think it's hard to get your life together but it isn't. You just need to hire the right coach to help you put things back where they belong. They sort out your stuff and put the parts back so you can find them. It's better than hiring someone to clean your kitchen. You can find your stuff when you hire a coach. And that's the truth!
02/05/2020 08:45 AM
Wellness Coaching Creating Your Story
We all live stories. Those stories are built on how we live every day. What would happen if you could decide the formula to live your ultimate story? Whatever you think of, you could achieve. This is a well-known path to succeeding at any goal. Because there are no limits on what decisions you make the next part of succeeding at writing your story is choosing what kind of character you want to be. This builds in certain qualities and values that will help guide you on the path you want to live.
01/29/2020 09:56 AM
The Wonderful Benefits of Coaching
VISION - MOTIVATION - FOCUS - CLARITY - ENERGY - SPEED - PRODUCTIVITY - RESULTS - SUCCESS - and more.. What could you do with this?
01/09/2020 06:43 PM
The Deadly Factors of Stress in the Workplace!
Where do you feel stress at work? Does it show up in conversations. Unmet deadlines or a workload that is not achievable? Read about what you can do to manage your stress before it takes a toll on you physically.
01/09/2020 06:41 PM
How Can Leaders Confront Their Blind Spots?
Learn about how to handle blind spots on the job. This can be scary but necessary if you want real growth.
12/16/2019 08:40 AM
The Four Agreements and Why I Take Them Personally
On the surface, the "Four Agreements" seem innocent, perhaps even thoughtful and wise. But then again, I would be a fool if I didn't always want to do my best; I am well aware that assumptions put an "ass" between "u" and "me"; and I have been teaching kids forever about how important "being impeccable with their word" is. As a navigator of life's river, this advice feels obvious. But when I come to "Don't Take Anything Personally," I can't help shaking my head at the simplicity of a journey that navigates on this "personal truth."
11/11/2019 10:37 AM
BYOB (Build Your Own Business)
If becoming a business owner is tugging at your heart there is a reason why. It could be a part of your purpose in life. And it might not be as hard as you think. With the right process and mentoring it is possible.
11/11/2019 10:36 AM
Go From Obstacles to Opportunities
Obstacles will happen, we can't control that. But we can control how we deal with them. Are we going to let them hold us back or push us forward? It's our choice. Obstacles can birth opportunities that can bless your life and the lives of others. Becoming a Certified Life Coach is one way you can transform obstacles into opportunities.
11/01/2019 12:59 PM
How To Get From Where You Are, to Where You Want to Be "Think, Think, Think"
Do you realize how powerful your thoughts are? Do you recognize the fact that your thoughts pre-pave the way to all that you do? In essence, your thoughts are like a magic wand that you wave over any situation. Make sure you are ordering what you want!
10/14/2019 02:06 PM
When "The Cause" Comes With Discomfort
So, how is your career's New Year's Resolution working out? By now, some of us are feeling good about effectively holding true to "the cause" we set out to pursue in the new year - but this is early into the year, I'm guessing most of us are still struggling with the discomfort that comes with the introduction of a significant change in our professional lives. This discomfort can come in many forms - lost time, longing for "the way things used to be," the pain of learning a new process and, of course, the feelings of inadequacy...
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
Getting Your Career Wish List Just Right
'Tis the season to decorate our homes, drink eggnog at Holiday parties, and buy gifts off each other's wish lists. The experience of asking one another what's on a wish list can always be a little awkward - mostly because they are going to turn and ask you the same question! When they do, are you ready to say exactly what it is so that you don't end up with fruitcake?
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
How To Achieve Your Career Resolution
Years ago I was talking with someone who was training to run a marathon. But as he got deeper into training, he found himself continually more worn out - not from the running, but from trying to keep up with all the other things he still had going on in his life! Simply put, there wasn't enough room in his life for his new goal of running a marathon and all the other hobbies, obligations and responsibilities he was already involved in.
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
Can You Hear Me?
Have you ever experienced a moment when you realized that the thing you asked your staff, teammates, or even your children to do yesterday still hasn't been done - even when you gave them very clear instructions? It's easy to point blame, but consider this: it could be they really didn't hear what you thought you communicated. We often don't effectively reach our goals because we fail to take into account how we communicate.
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
Is Change Making Your Career a Three-Ring Circus?
Everyone has a different reaction to unexpected change. Some embrace it. Others deflect it at all costs.
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
To Find Or Be Found? That Is The Question!
The Labor Department announced in June that the average length of unemployment is at an all-time high, the average being 39.7 weeks. Are these just the times we're living in?
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
Your Career Approach - Stop! Drop! And Roll!
I've lost count of how many Career Coaching clients I've worked with who lost their confidence during a job search. It's understandable. When you have been seeking a job for months (and sometimes even years), you're likely to become a victim of self-doubt.
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
Why Should You Hire Me?
It's the point blank question every hiring manager should ask in an interview - and the one that applicants almost never answer correctly. "Why Should I Hire You?" Hiring managers want to know what is unique about you, and they're not afraid to ask.
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
Where Is The "Hidden" Job Market?
Whether you're out of a job or looking to advance your career, you might be tempted to start the search on big career search sites like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com. But studies have shown that the published market (including the internet) contains only about 20% to 25% of open jobs. But why?
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
How You See Yourself Impacts Networking
We've heard it a million times: "In order to find job opportunities, you have to network!" This message is as true as it is obvious. However, if you ask any given association, organization, support group or hiring manager, you'll probably find that everyone has a different idea of what networking actually means.
09/18/2019 01:35 PM
Be Inspired to Go Higher!
Coaching creates change. It can improve your life and the lives of others. Becoming a Certified Life Coach may be a dream of yours, but it won't manifest until you put that dream into action. What can you bring to the lives of others by stepping into your calling? Probably a lot more than you realize!
08/19/2019 10:01 AM
Empower Others to Stress Less and Live Their Best
Inner peace is a benefit available to all of us but not many people experience it. Why not? Because they have allowed stress to overpower them. If you have a passion to help others stress less and live their best then this article may be beneficial to you.
08/12/2019 09:04 AM
If Your Marketing Isn't Offensive, It Must Be Defensive
Do you deliberately drive away coaching clients? If not, why not? By not offending anyone, you're playing a weak and defensive game, and doing yourself no favours.
08/12/2019 08:59 AM
Declutter Your Thoughts With Brain Science
Are your negative thoughts getting the way of your success? Get on the decluttering bandwagon and apply it to your thinking. Improve your thinking, improve your life.
08/01/2019 07:49 PM
Change The Game
When your life is not going in the direction that you want. Follow these steps to change the game.
07/31/2019 08:03 PM
Become a Wellness Coach and Make a Difference
Becoming a wellness coach can provide you with an opportunity to educate and empower individuals to live the life they deserve to live. Many individuals are not living in holistic harmony and that needs to change. Bring your gifts and passion to the wellness coaching profession and make a difference.
06/24/2019 11:41 AM
Happiness End the Rat Race
End the Rat Race Life, like all wonderful vacations, must come to an end. While some may see this opening line as somewhat of a depressing thought, I hope many will also view it as sobering as well. Life is a temporary thing and very much like a vacation, it does not last forever.
06/11/2019 03:23 PM
The Entrepreneurial Success Plan for Coaches
Coaching is a booming industry but success is not guaranteed. But there are some things you can do to help fail-proof your business. Not doing these things could cost you your business, but doing these things can catapult your coaching success.
05/28/2019 09:22 AM
Ten Steps To Personal Freedom
Life can be frantic at times and we can so easily lose our perspective and end up living inside self imposed prisons of our own making. In this article I explore my top ten ways of finding personal freedom, leading to a stress free life which gives us time to breathe and live life to the full.
05/13/2019 09:59 AM
Leap Into Your Calling As A Coach
Coaching is an amazing career that has space for you! If you feel called to be a coach then it is time for you to take a leap into your purpose. There is an abundance of opportunities waiting for you!
04/24/2019 11:55 AM
Why People Invest in Peak Performance Coaches
Obviously, there are many different things that can spur someone to invest in a Peak Performance coach, but they all boil down to the same basic reason: to get better quicker. If you want to become more efficient, break through a seen or unseen barrier, learn how to communicate more effectively or learn new innovative strategies, they all involve doing what you do better. There is a common misconception that the more we do something the better we will get at doing that activity or vocation, however, the law of diminishing returns enters the picture rather quickly...
03/26/2019 12:27 PM
Joining the Army
The Law of Polarity states that everything has an opposite. For every bad situation there is something of equal or greater good or benefit on its way. After about 7 years into our marriage my husband started having a feeling like there was more, we should be doing in life.
01/30/2019 02:31 PM
What Are the Benefits Of Judiciary Coaching for Students?
Today, students of law are so busy with the theoretical aspect of their studies that they don't think about putting together some practical strategies for success down the road. As time goes by, competition among lawyers go up. Therefore, it's important for law students to get proper judicial coaching so that they are well prepared before you get into the practical phase of their life.
01/17/2019 02:46 PM
The Benefits Of Judiciary Coaching
Nowadays, most lawyers are so busy with their clients that they don't take the time to learn the most effective strategies for their professional success. With the passage of time, it's important for lawyers to reevaluate their strategies to ensure they are updated. We all go through ups and downs in our private and professional life. And lawyers are no exception. When they go through the feelings of dissatisfaction, most of them don't try to change just because they don't have any problem-solving tools. This is where law coaching comes into play. Let's find out why lawyers should opt for a coaching service to hone their skills.
11/06/2018 02:42 PM
How to Magnetically Attract Your Dream Coaching Clients
You can be the best coach in the world but if nobody knows you are there that is a disservice to you and to your potential clients. Knowing how to attract your dream coaching clients is a critical to your success as a coach. Once you know how to magnetically attract your dream coaching clients it can increase your impact and your income.
10/22/2018 02:02 PM
Move In the Moment
Divine opportunities are all around us but we have to move when the divine inspiration is there. If we don't we might miss it. When we are in the divine flow it can increase our purpose and prosperity.
10/16/2018 04:36 PM
3 Keys to Being a Successful Life Coach
Being a successful life coach means that you are excelling personally, professionally, and financially. The life coaching profession is booming and there are some great benefits available. This article will discuss three keys that can inspire and empower you to be a successful life coach.
09/17/2018 10:52 AM
Unleashing Faith In Business
Faith and business are not separate. Your faith is a important factor to your business success. As a entrepreneur things may not always be easy, but faith can give you the power to overcome any challenges, and succeed in a way that "blows your mind!"
09/17/2018 10:51 AM
Your Life Story Matters
You have a powerful story that can transform the lives of others. And your story matters. You might be surprised at how sharing your life story can catapult your success, and make a difference in the lives of others. And never think that your life story doesn't matter, because it does!
07/23/2018 08:08 AM
Formulation of Coaching Themes
The Coaching Programme is based on the purpose of the client's coaching intervention. This is recorded in a form of a coaching theme or topic. We should not coach without any coaching purpose. Once the theme is determined, the coach and the client formulate the coaching goal, and objectives. Whereas the coaching theme is responsive to the challenges and the client's desires, there are some common themes that may even be considered to be special coaching areas. The coach is informed by the context of the area and the client's perspectives. In this article I am addressing such common and generic themes, namely sport personality, community development, life & personality development, youth development, entrepreneurship development, relationship management, celebrity status, diversity management & inclusion, management & leadership, change management & transformation, and executive business.
07/11/2018 09:20 AM
Life Coaching Success - Life Success Planning
Planning to improve your life through coaching is based upon the partnership formed between the coach and the client. No goal is too small or to big for the coaching process. When you tackle a large goal you simply break it down into manageable pieces.
07/11/2018 09:18 AM
Do You Know What a Life Coach Does Exactly?
Many people do not understand what does a life coach does exactly but they have that a life coach can help them. This article focuses on explaining what a life coach actually does to help you reach your goals and obtain the results you want in life.
07/10/2018 10:09 AM
What Life Coaching Is Designed to Achieve
Life coaching is turning into a standard calling presenting abilities that numerous look to get. You might find that more individuals around you are getting instructed or notwithstanding concentrate to end up mentors. Significantly previous Google CEO Eric Schmidt advocates training, saying, "Everyone needs a mentor... each well-known competitor, each celebrated entertainer, has some person who's a mentor... somebody who can enable them to consider themselves to be others sees them."
06/30/2018 08:16 PM
Honour Your NO!
More and more I am discovering that we feel we can control others and we are giving our power away. We are justifying why we say NO, because we want approval, acceptance or feel the need to apologize, instead of honouring our NO!
06/20/2018 12:06 PM
Changing Limiting Self-Beliefs
The beliefs you have about yourself and life are fundamental in shaping your reality for better or worse, and affect all areas of your life, impacting the levels of success, happiness, and love you create and allow. If you believe you're not good enough or don't deserve, for example, you may experience painful accompanying emotions and realities that reflect that. Negative self-beliefs thwart your self-image and cloud and shroud the you within, skewing your true, happy, loving nature. You think you can't and you're probably right; you think you can and you're definitely right. You are what you think you are.


More Coaching Information:

Related Articles

3 Keys to Making Small Talk Easy to Do
Small talk used to be really hard work for me. I never knew what to say and I always worried about saying the wrong thing.
Why Things Are The Way They Are
Things are the way you think they are, because you think they are that way. An interesting statement I know, but let's break it down a bit if you will, and see what this Really means.
7 Destructive Habits of Incompetent People
WARNING! If you want to have a fantastic life, never engage yourself in these 7 deadly habits that incompetent people do. NUMBER 1 - They Think, Say, & Do Negative Things.
Receiving Thanks and Praise - The View from the Other Side
We demand more from those who provide to us and because we are frequently in roles which deliver goods and services ourselves, we are on the receiving end too - of complaints, frustrations and generally poor behaviour.Why is it that when we are on the receiving end, we miss the fact that we ourselves, when we hang up our service-provider-hat at the end of our shift, often end up as 'customers behaving badly' too?Why do we take our own frustrations out on others, the way it has been taken out on us? Why do we sometimes become the Hyde from our normal Jekyll?So, when someone goes the 'extra mile' to say 'Thank you', or appreciate the actions you have taken? What do you take from that and how do you react? You feel good, I guess.
Happiness and Work: Your Life Depends On It.
Early one morning, Robert awoke, made his wife of 41 years some banana bread, took out the garbage and called to cancel a doctors appointment scheduled for the next day. He wrote a note to remind his wife to pick up the dry cleaning.
Making Changes in Your Personal Life
Making changes in your personal life can be a tough process. Change starts with a thought.
Run to Win
I was never much of an athlete growing up. Notoriously clumsy, I was ostracized by our school volleyball and basketball teams.
Do You Make These Common Mistakes When Talking to People?
Many moons ago. Talking to people was something I avoided where possible.
How to Jump-start Your Emotional Health
You've probably heard the expression: "It's not what you're eating. It's what's eating you!" This well-known saying reminds us that the thoughts we entertain can have an impact on our health.
Being an Emotional Victim
None of us like to think of ourselves as victims. The term "victim" brings to mind a pathetic image of a person who is powerless.
Dealing Effectively with Midlife Issues
In this article we would like to help you explore the challenges and opportunities that come at midlife. You will have an opportunity to take a look at issues that are specific to the Baby Boomer generation.
Strategic Checklists
I've been through a couple of checklists in the past few days, and it's reaffirmed my faith in their effectiveness as a communication tool.Now, there are at least a couple of ways we can look at checklists in a communication context.
Walt Disney, the Inspiration to Form a Better Life?
You, like many others, may have come to this article because you want more from life. In this sense, you and I may be alike because we're searching for greater happiness and a stronger sense of fulfillment.
Choosing The Right Coach
Coaching has become a very popular way for people to get the ongoing support they need to accomplish their goals. However, choosing a coach can be tricky.
How To Deal With People Who Dislike You
When you read books on personal development and articles about making your life better the emphasis is generally on the positive.You learn all about deciding what you want and how to get it.
The Benefits of Coaching
When I was first introduced to the profession of personal coaching, my first initial thought was that it sounded exactly like something I would love to pursue. I did further investigation into the profession and before I knew it I was happily enrolled in the Coach Training Program offered through Coach U University in Colorado, USA.
How Not Letting Go of Your Past can Hurt Your Future
Experiences, whether good or bad, are sometimes all wehave, and most of them reside in the past. So you may ask,why should I let go of my past when much of it is filledwith beautiful memories and serenity?Well, that is certainly not what I mean.
Eureka! I've Found It!
OK, so it wasn't quite that big of a deal. But I did find the "T" that mysteriously escaped from the word "not" in one of my articles a few months ago.
How to Crack a Daunting Task!
If you have a daunting task and the mere thought of it overwhelms you, it's probably too big to implement directly and should be broken down into actionable parts. I find this happens to me frequently -- I see the big strategic goal that I want to achieve, but become paralyzed thinking about the size of the project.
You Have A Choice
I'm a relationship coach and, unlike most, I deal with those 'other' relationships. Of course, I make love happen without wings and an arrow, but I really make a difference with business relationships, family relationships, community relationships, old and stale relationships and all the rest that we take for granted, lost or forgotten.